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Publication Profile

Daily Racing Form, "America's Turf Authority since 1894" for Thoroughbred racing horseplayers and professionals throughout North America, is the Thoroughbred industry's dominant multi-channel media company. Launched in Chicago on November 17, 1894, Daily Racing Form is the only daily newspaper in the U.S. dedicated solely to the coverage of a single sport, publishing up to 2,000 unique pages of statistical and editorial copy every day, in as many as 30 daily editions, 364 days a year (with the exception of Christmas Day). Its companion website, www.drf.com, is the most heavily trafficked horseracing destination, providing players with interactive past performances and exclusive handicapping and wagering tools.

Current Owner

DRF is owned by Arlington Capital Partners (www.arlingtoncap.com), a Washington, DC-based private equity fund with over $1 billion of committed capital focused on middle market buyout investment opportunities in growth industries including: media and information services, healthcare services, aerospace/defense, business services and outsourcing, and education.

The firm’s professionals have a unique combination of operating and private equity experience that enables Arlington to be a value-added investor. Arlington invests in companies in partnership with high quality management teams that are motivated to establish and/or advance their company’s position as leading competitors in their field.

Previous Ownership

  • 1894-1922 Frank Brunell
  • 1922-1988 Triangle Publications, Inc.
  • 1988-1991 News America
  • 1991-1998 K-III/Primedia, Inc.
  • 1998-2004 Alpine Capital Group
  • 2004-2007 The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C.

DRF History

  • 1894: Frank Brunell's dream of publishing a daily newspaper devoted exclusively to horse racing to give horseplayers reliable information on past and current form is realized on Nov. 17, 1894 when the first edition of DRF - a four-page broadsheet - is printed.
  • 1896: First DRF chart book is printed. These monthly compilations were printed until 1980 when charts were issued in microfiche format.
  • 1905: Brunell revolutionizes horseplaying when his belief that a horse's past record was a major factor in determining present performance leads him to compile and print DRF's first past performances record for each horse in a race.
  • 1922: Acquired by Triangle Publications, Inc.
  • 1954: Joe Hirsch joins Daily Racing Form after a four-year stint in the Army.
  • 1955: Pierre Camille Lucien Hilaire Jean Bellocq (Peb) joins The Morning Telegraph and Daily Racing Form as staff cartoonist.
  • 1971: DRF begins publishing a broadsheet "Eastern Edition," hailed as the first full-sized, multi-track computerized racing newspaper ever published. The newspaper contains 32 pages of editorial and past performances for four racing programs at Pitt Park, Waterford Park, Shenandoah Downs and Laurel Racecourse.
  • 1988: Triangle's Walter Annenberg sells to News America, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
  • 1991: Purchased by K-III Communications Corporation in June for a reported $180 million. K-III spends $35 million modernizing the newspaper and streamlining its production.
  • 1992: DRF purchases the assets of The Racing Times.
  • 1994: Celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
  • 1998: DRF and Equibase Company announce on March 12 an agreement to end a seven-year rivalry and merge the data gathering and storage systems of the two companies. Alpine Capital Group and racing journalist Steven Crist purchase DRF from Primedia, Inc. (formerly K-III) for $40 million.
  • 2004: Purchased by The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C. in May.
  • 2007: Purchased by Arlington Capital Partners in October.
  • 2009: Celebrates 115th Anniversary
  • 2011: DRF introduces DRF Bets and begins taking wagers on North American racing at DRF.com/bets
  • 2012: DRF launches DRF Breeding and expands its breeding, sales and auctions coverage
  • 2013: Launches m.drf.com mobile platform

Senior Management

John J. Hartig - Chief Executive Officer
John Hartig was named chief executive officer of Daily Racing Form in December 2008. Hartig served most recently as the CEO of Brandport, an interactive media company serving consumer-targeted advertising. Previously, Hartig was a key member of Hearst Corporation's senior management team as Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing and Development. He led the consumer marketing operation and circulation profit center of the 17-title portfolio in addition to overseeing Hearst Magazines' development activities, including its early digital strategy. Prior to Hearst, Hartig was President and CEO of The Parenting Group, a division of Time Inc., where he was responsible for all business and content operations of market leaders Parenting, BabyTalk and other related print and electronic properties. Within the Time organization, Hartig also co-led the introduction of InStyle magazine, one of the most successful consumer magazine launches in recent history, as well as serving as a senior executive at People magazine. Hartig began his career as an advertising and public relations executive. Hartig is an avid private pilot and resides in Riverside, Connecticut. He is a graduate of California State University, and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.

Greg Zorthian - President / General Manager
Greg Zorthian joined the Sports Information Group LLC and Daily Racing Form as President and General Manager in March 2013.  Prior to this, Zorthian had been a Managing Director of Empirical Media Advisors.  He was President of the Americas for the Financial Times from 2009 through 2012.  Concurrently, he served as the FT’s Global Circulation Director, from 2007 through 2012, and was a member of the FT Board. He joined the Financial Times in 2004. As Global Circulation Director, Zorthian was responsible for optimizing the FT’s print presence and transition to digital. He directed consumer marketing for the newspaper and led the expansion of the newspaper’s marketing efforts into the digital arena. With over three decades of experience in the media industry, Zorthian has held senior roles in general management, consumer marketing, business development and digital operations at Time Inc., Forbes Inc., Business Week and Magellan Media Consulting Partners. Zorthian served as general manager of Time and Fortune and directed online operations for Business Week. As Forbes’ vice president of business development, Zorthian was a co-founder of Forbes.com, as well as launching eight new businesses through a mix of acquisitions, joint ventures and start-ups. Zorthian holds a B.A in History from Yale and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

Jim Kostas - President DRF Print
Jim Kostas, President DRF Print, began his career with Daily Racing Form in 1994 in Los Angeles as field supervisor in the circulation department. One year later he moved to the Company's headquarters in Phoenix becoming further involved with the printing, distribution, and marketing of Daily Racing Form products. While in Phoenix, Kostas held various management positions, his final being national circulation director. He relocated to the New York office in early 2000 when he was named Vice President of Circulation and then President DRF Print. Kostas is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin University in Texas, as well as the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. He later earned an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University.

Todd Unger - President DRF Digital
Todd Unger joined DRF as President, Digital in 2010 and leads a rapidly expanding digital business that includes DRF.com, horse racing’s premier digital media property, a robust e-commerce business focused on premium data and content and DRF Bets, the country’s fastest-growing online wagering platform. Unger has served as general manager of 5 major digital media properties spanning pure-play, publishing, cable television and video gaming, in both corporate and start-up environments. He was a pioneer in the Local online space, building Digital City/AOL Local into the country’s leading online city guide and led digital organizations at Lifetime Television, Time4 Media (a former division of Time Inc., with 19 high-profile enthusiast sites) and Major League Gaming. Prior to his digital career, Unger spent a decade in brand management and advertising at Procter & Gamble and Leo Burnett, where he worked to build brands in consumer products, automotive and electronics categories, including pioneering an entirely new consumer products category with the launch of GladWare Plastic Containers. He graduated from Miami University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mark Simon - Editorial Director
Mark Simon joined Daily Racing Form in November 2012 as Senior Editor, heading up the new initiative of DRF Breeding. On March18, he was named Editorial Director to head editorial department of DRF. Simon was founding editor of Thoroughbred Times, which began publication in September 1985 as a free weekly newspaper written for owners, breeders, trainers, and those invested in Thoroughbreds. Over the years, Thoroughbred Times was converted to a paid, four-color magazine and produced numerous other titles, including the daily e-newsletter Thoroughbred Times Today, Stallion Directory, Thoroughbred Times Racing Almanac, books, the Buyer’s Guides for detailed information on horses sold at public auction, and maintained a comprehensive website for daily news and features. Thoroughbred Times won numerous awards for excellence, including five Eclipse Awards earned by writers, photographers, and/or staff members for work that appeared in the Times or on its website. Simon was awarded the Charles Englehard Award in 2009 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders for lifetime achievements in media, and numerous awards from the American Horse Publications for commentaries. A native of Chicago, Simon graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in journalism and began working at the then-weekly The Thoroughbred Record in 1977. In 1980, he was named managing editor of The Record and in 1982 was named its executive editor. He lives in Lexington with his wife, Mary, who won an Eclipse Award in 2001 for her series on racing in the 20th century that appeared in Thoroughbred Times and was later published as a book, Racing Through the Century. They have two daughters, Nora and Rachel.

Steven Crist - Editor & Publisher Emeritus
Steven Crist, Editor & Publisher Emeritus, is a renowned journalist, horseplayer and gambler. Crist first caught the racing bug as an undergraduate at Harvard in 1977 and the former editor of the Harvard Lampoon has dedicated his life to Thoroughbred racing ever since. Crist was a New York Times reporter and columnist from 1981-90 and the founding editor of the short-lived but critically-acclaimed rival daily newspaper to DRF, The Racing Times, the Robert Maxwell-owned publication that introduced a variety of editorial and statistical innovations that have since become the industry standard. In 1992, Crist was appointed a commissioner by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo to the New York State Commission on Racing in the 21st Century, where he drafted recommendations and legislation that subsequently became law. He was a vice president in charge of simulcasting, marketing and corporate development for The New York Racing Association from 1994-1997 and introduced in-home simulcasting during his tenure. He is a former director of the Equibase Company. Crist is the author of Exotic Betting (2006/DRF Press), the autobiographical Betting on Myself: Adventures of a Horseplayer and Publisher (2003/DRF Press) as well as The Horse Traders (1986) and Offtrack (1981) and a co-author of Champions (2000, 2005/DRF Press), Bet With The Best (2001/DRF Press) and Bet With The Best 2: Longshots (2008/DRF Press).  In 2009, Crist became one of the first four journalists inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame when he was named to the inaugural Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor along with Red Smith, Charles Hatton and William Nack.

Mandy Minger - Vice President / Marketing
Mandy Minger, Vice President of Marketing, has been with Daily Racing Form since 1992. Minger began her career in thoroughbred racing as a groom at Philadelphia Park and in the publicity department at the Atlantic City Race Course. In 1991, she joined The Racing Times and, following the publication's closing, moved to Daily Racing Form as marketing coordinator in 1992. She held various marketing positions before assuming her current position in 2000. Minger is President of the Turf Publicists of America, a member of the Eclipse Awards Steering Committee and is active in thoroughbred retirement causes. She has been a guest speaker at the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program and has been profiled in Horseplayer Magazine's "Women in Racing" series. She manages the title sponsorship of the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship and actively contributes to the national marketing efforts of thoroughbred racing. Minger earned a B.A. in Literature from Richard Stockton State College in Pomona, N.J., where she was sports editor of her college newspaper. She travels annually to San Pedro Sula, Honduras where she does mission work at Our Little Roses orphanage. Minger resides outside of Philadelphia, PA with her husband and two daughters.

Jeffrey Burch - Vice President / Advertising
Jeffrey Burch, Vice President Advertising, joined Daily Racing Form in February 2005 from Advertising Age, the bible of the advertising community, where he was Advertising Director.He has a deep background in enthusiast publishing and advertising sales. Prior to joining Daily Racing Form he served as VP Corporate Sales for the Primedia Enthusiast Group and Petersen Publishing; magazine publishing companies which had hundreds of titles ranging from sports to automotive, hunting to surfing. In these roles he was instrumental in developing cross platform programs including print, web, event, television, and custom publishing projects for a broad range of advertising partners. Earlier in his career he was Associate Publisher/Advertising at Cosmopolitan and the Publisher of House Beautiful while at Hearst Magazines. He also spent 10 years at People magazine in sales and sales management. Burch has newspaper experience including stints at Gannett and Media Space Solutions - a newspaper planning and buying resource. He is a graduate of University of Connecticut and a frequent guest lecturer at New York University in both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Thomas F. Travis - Vice President / Production & Distribution
Tom Travis joined Daily Racing Form as Vice President of Production in 2009. Travis's newspaper career spans over 35 years with such companies as Knight-Ridder, E.W. Scripps and Gannett. He served as Vice President of Production at The Louisville Courier-Journal as well as Vice President of Operations at The (Memphis, TN) Commercial Appeal and at The Ventura (CA) County Star. Travis started his career at The Miami Herald in 1974. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and Master of Business Administration in finance from California Lutheran University. Travis serves on the board of the International Newspaper Group (ING) and previously served as the chair of the NEXPO Planning Committee, as a board member of the Louisville Downtown Management District and on the Advisory Board to the Dean of the Carlson Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis.

Michael Zapin – Vice President / Programming
Bio coming soon